Septic systems are a critical part of many residential and rural properties, providing efficient wastewater treatment in areas without access to municipal sewer systems. However, not all septic systems are the same. In fact, there are several different types of septic systems, each with its own design and functionality. In this article, we’ll explore the various septic service company to help you gain a better understanding of their differences and how they work.
The Importance of Knowing Your Septic System Type
Understanding the type of septic system installed on your property is crucial for several reasons:
- Maintenance: Different septic systems have varying maintenance requirements. Knowing your system type allows you to schedule the right maintenance tasks and ensure its longevity.
- Compliance: Local regulations and environmental standards may vary depending on your septic system type. Staying informed helps you remain compliant with legal requirements.
- Troubleshooting: If you encounter issues with your septic system, knowing its type can be immensely helpful in diagnosing and addressing the problem.
Now, let’s explore the most common types of septic systems:
1. Conventional Gravity Septic System
How it works: This is the most traditional and common type of septic company system. It consists of a septic tank and a drain field. Wastewater flows into the septic tank, where solids settle to the bottom and are decomposed by bacteria. The remaining liquid effluent flows into the drain field, where it is absorbed into the soil.
Maintenance: Regular pumping and occasional inspections are essential to prevent solids from accumulating in the septic tank and clogging the drain field.
2. Pressure Distribution Septic System
How it works: Similar to the conventional gravity system, but it includes a pump to distribute effluent evenly across the drain field. This system is suitable for properties with uneven terrain or soil that doesn’t absorb effluent well.
Maintenance: Pump maintenance and regular inspections are critical to ensure even distribution and avoid system failure.
3. Mound Septic System
How it works: Mound systems are designed for properties with high groundwater, shallow bedrock, or poor soil quality. Wastewater is pumped into an elevated mound of sand and gravel, allowing it to be treated and filtered before it enters the natural soil.
Maintenance: Regular inspections and pump maintenance are necessary to ensure the mound remains functional.
4. Aerobic Treatment Unit (ATU) Septic System
How it works: ATU systems use oxygen to treat wastewater, making them more efficient at breaking down organic matter and removing contaminants. They are often used when space is limited or soil conditions are challenging.
Maintenance: These systems require more involved maintenance, including periodic replacement of air diffusers and monitoring of oxygen levels.
5. Recirculating Sand Filter Septic System
How it works: Recirculating sand filter systems use a series of sand beds and recirculation pumps to treat wastewater before it is discharged into the soil. They are suitable for properties with limited space or poor soil conditions.
Maintenance: Routine inspections and maintenance of sand filters and pumps are necessary to keep the system functioning correctly.
6. Peat Moss Biofilter Septic System
How it works: This type of system uses a biofilter filled with peat moss to treat wastewater. Peat moss has a high absorption capacity and promotes bacterial activity, making it effective in breaking down contaminants.
Maintenance: Regular monitoring and replacement of peat moss are essential for the system’s effectiveness.
7. Proprietary Septic Systems
Various companies offer proprietary septic systems with unique designs and technologies. These systems are often marketed as more efficient or environmentally friendly. If you have a proprietary system, it’s crucial to understand its specific maintenance requirements, which can vary widely.
How to Determine Your Septic System Type
Now that you have an overview of the different septic system types, you may be wondering how to identify the type of system installed on your property. Here’s how:
- Consult Your Records: If you have access to property records or documents from when the system was installed, they may specify the type of septic system.
- Ask a Professional: A reputable septic service company can inspect your system and provide you with information about its type and maintenance needs.
- Look for Visual Clues: Certain components of your septic system may provide hints about its type. For example, a mound system will have an elevated mound of sand and gravel.
- Check with Local Authorities: In some cases, local health departments or building authorities may have records or information about your septic system.
Maintenance Guidelines for Different Septic System Types
As mentioned earlier, each type of septic system has its unique maintenance requirements. Here are some general guidelines for maintaining various septic systems:
- Conventional Gravity and Pressure Distribution Systems: Regular pumping every 3 to 5 years and annual inspections are essential.
- Mound Systems: Inspections, maintenance of pumps and controls, and potential replacement of the sand fill are necessary.
- Aerobic Treatment Unit Systems: Frequent inspections, air diffuser maintenance, and monitoring oxygen levels are crucial.
- Recirculating Sand Filter Systems: Routine inspections and maintenance of sand filters and pumps are necessary.
- Peat Moss Biofilter Systems: Regular monitoring and replacement of peat moss are essential.
- Proprietary Systems: Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for maintenance, which can vary widely.
The Bottom Line
Understanding the type of septic system on your property is essential for effective maintenance, compliance with local regulations, and preventing costly issues. Regular inspections by a trusted septic service company can help you stay on top of maintenance tasks and ensure the longevity and efficiency of your septic system.
If you’re unsure about your septic system type or its maintenance requirements, don’t hesitate to reach out to a professional septic service company. They can provide expert guidance tailored to your specific system and property, helping you make informed decisions to protect your investment and the environment.